Friday, April 13, 2007

But that's for celebrities!

I spotted some teeth whitening products the other day which jogged the following memory:

I arranged to have a dental checkup at the well-reputed Manipal Hospital one afternoon. One of the great things about India is the ridiculous population level. Having so many extra people means that doctors administer tests that normally only medical technicians and nurses do in countries like the US.

The dentist has always been my favorite doctor to visit; as a child I was a test subject of the Tufts University Dental School. They provided me with free toothpaste and free seals on my "grown up" teeth. Coupled with the efforts of my orthondontist, my teeth could not help but be an object of admiration to the dental set. Dentists could only half-heartedly try to upsell me on whitening treatments, seeing that route canals and implants were not in my immediate
future. (Thank God.)

At the end of my checkup at Manipal that day, the doctor did not try to tempt me with any other treatments. I was shocked, and more than a little bit interested to see what the savings would be of getting my teeth whitened in Bangalore vs. like, anywhere in the US. I asked the dentist whether I would be a good candidate for teeth whitening.

The dentist looked at my teeth again and said, "But, why? Your teeth are a natural color, the color teeth are supposed to be. Besides, whitening is only for celebrities and such people. You are not a celebrity, are you?"

Well, if you have to ask, I guess I'm not.